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Starfish13
582587.  Sat Jul 11, 2009 7:23 am Reply with quote

Minimata disease is caused by severe methyl-mercury poisoning, and is named after a city in Japan where it was first identified.

The symptoms of Minimata disease were neurological; ataxia, numbness in the hands and feet, muscle weakness, distortion to hearing and speech, insanity, paralysis, coma and death. It was able to cross the placenta and affect foetuses in-utero, causing congenital Minimata disease. The mercury (as with other heavy metals) accumulated in the long bones of the human body, causing brittle bones.

The methyl-mercury was released into the water of Minimata bay as industrial wastewater over the course of 30 years, as a byproduct of acetaldehyde production. It was bioaccumulated in the shellfish eaten by the local population. Loal animals that shared the same diet as the people were also affected, hence the Japanese name of 'dancing cat disese'.

As well as being bioaccumulated, mercury is biomagnified inthe marine food chain. As higher predators need to eat more of the lower organisms to survive, the concentration of mercury in thier bodies is increased. People with diets high in fish, especially top predators like tuna, swordfish and shark, are at risk of mercury poisoning. Got Mercury? There is no safe level of mercury in food.

 
Efros
582605.  Sat Jul 11, 2009 8:29 am Reply with quote

Alkyl metal compounds are particularly nasty, they give the possibility of introducing the metal or indeed the alkyl group to critical sites in the body e.g. Enzymes and DNA. Alkylation of active sites in enzymes effectively destroys that enzyme's ability to function, alkylation of DNA can cause consequences for the individual or that individuals offspring. Synthetic organometallics in biological systems are generally bad news and even metal organic salts can be a problem. Aluminium is thought to penetrate the blood brain barrier in collusion with citric and or ascorbic acid, this in conjunction with silicon is thought to be one trigger for early onset Alzheimer's, so if your folks made jam in an aluminium pan it may explain any Alzheimer's in the family.

Tetraethyl lead, used in leaded petrol was a convenient pathway by which lead could infiltrate the body. Lead poisoning can be fatal if the exposure is high enough but a more common occurrence is the low level long term exposure. This has developmental consequences for children exposed in such a way, and can cause a significant drop in IQ and has been linked to an increased involvement in violent crime.

 
PDR
582622.  Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:22 am Reply with quote

Efros wrote:
Aluminium is thought to penetrate the blood brain barrier in collusion with citric and or ascorbic acid, this in conjunction with silicon is thought to be one trigger for early onset Alzheimer's, so if your folks made jam in an aluminium pan it may explain any Alzheimer's in the family.


"Biopsy the blood-brain barrier" - that's what Greg would do...

PDR

 
Davini994
582674.  Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:04 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
Indeed. Even the vapour is enough to disqualify the alloys in the aircraft structure.

Cor, that's amazing.

 
Efros
582678.  Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:27 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
Efros wrote:
Aluminium is thought to penetrate the blood brain barrier in collusion with citric and or ascorbic acid, this in conjunction with silicon is thought to be one trigger for early onset Alzheimer's, so if your folks made jam in an aluminium pan it may explain any Alzheimer's in the family.


"Biopsy the blood-brain barrier" - that's what Greg would do...

PDR


But only if he gets to crack the skull himself.

 
Janet H
582720.  Sat Jul 11, 2009 1:11 pm Reply with quote

Holy moly, I didn't realise why mercury was a no no on 'planes - I do know! Been looking for a picture of fuming mercury and failing to find one. The good old OU did a programme on TV ages ago about the element mercury, and it included a picture taken in the UV of a bowl of mercury. It looked like it was steaming! eek.

 
Efros
582804.  Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:50 pm Reply with quote

The program was called "A Thread of Quicksilver" another memorable scene is where he floats a cannonball in a tank of mercury. I use this video every year with my chemistry students.


Screencap from the video, not too clear I'm afraid.




An alarming one this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ylnQ-T7oiA

mercury vapour coming off teeth.

 
Janet H
582901.  Sun Jul 12, 2009 7:09 am Reply with quote

Ah, that's the programme. I don't suppose your students would believe that I watched that of my own free will. More than once.

 
Efros
582921.  Sun Jul 12, 2009 7:42 am Reply with quote

Actually it is one of the better received videos I use, apparently because it is cool. Being a middle aged science teacher who is bald and wears glasses I have no clue what that is.

 
samivel
582999.  Sun Jul 12, 2009 11:15 am Reply with quote

Something to do with temperature?

 
Davini994
583002.  Sun Jul 12, 2009 11:29 am Reply with quote

Blimey, why would people put amalgam in their mouth?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amalgam_controversy

 
Efros
584882.  Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:09 am Reply with quote

Ununbium (element 112) has now been given the name Copernicium (symbol Cp) after Nicolaus Copernicus.

linkage

The name is yet to be ratified by IUPAC but this will probably happen in the next 6 months or so.

 
Davini994
584969.  Thu Jul 16, 2009 12:51 pm Reply with quote

And then the really important one: Sporcle.

 

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